A message from our West Gulf Division Director, John Stratton N5AUS. Our Oklahoma/Texas leadership supports this Motion. However, they are currently in the minority. Feel free to contact the leaders that John lists below and contact your friends outside the region so they can review this information and take appropriate action:

 “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.”

A centuries old truism often attributed to Mark Twain — it is applicable to any elected organization with the power to alter the lives and rights of others — public, private, or governmental — including the ARRL Board of Directors.

While the Agenda for the Board Meeting is always published before a Board meeting, the many motions to be considered by the Board have rarely ever been published before a Board Meeting. The most recent and notorious exception occurred before the January 2018 Board meeting when the Executive Committee and Lisenco motions intended to juice the 2017 “Code of Conduct” were leaked to the general Membership. The overwhelming Membership outrage resulting from the unintentional disclosure was instrumental in the punitive proposals being withdrawn. The 2017 Code of Conduct was itself overturned by a newly elected Board in January 2019.

The Members’ voices were heard — and their wishes were honored.

It is my belief, that of a small minority of Directors, and Vice Director Lee Cooper’s, that the Members should be permitted to have advance notice of the substantive matters to considered by the Board of Directors at its meetings.

To that end, the West Gulf intends to publish to its website the substantive motions scheduled to be considered at the January Board meeting and subsequent meetings.

It is our intent to discuss each known January 2024 motion in a separate email, although we will publish to the website each motion as it becomes available.

At present, there are three known motions. The Agenda for the January Board meeting and each of these three motions are available for review and download at: https://westgulfdivision.org/motion

The first motion we wish to discuss is the: 

Motion To Honor Membership Contracts

In July 2023, the Board voted to raise the annual dues from $49 to $59 and to eliminate the delivery of a printed copy of QST or On The Air, effective January 2024, unless a Member paid an extra $25/year. 

The West Gulf Division, the Atlantic Division, the Southeastern Division, and the Southwestern Divisions voted against both proposals, but the two proposals passed by an 11-4 vote.

While a dues increase was long overdue and actually needed, the West Gulf Division voted against it because it was tied to the termination of the delivery of a printed copy of QST/On The Air unless a Member paid an extra $25/year.

The four divisions argued it was a breach of the ARRL’s legal contract with those Members — both annual memberships and 3-year memberships — to terminate their promised printed copy of QST/On The Air before their membership contracts expired. The membership applications in use at the time promised, in writing, the delivery of QST/On The Air magazines by “standard mail.”

Besides the risks attendant upon a breach of contract, Article 11 of the ARRL Articles of Association prohibits the Board from terminating or reducing the rights of any Member. The stripping of the delivery of printed copies of QST/On The Air from unexpired Memberships constitutes a reduction in the rights of the affected Member.

Both the Membership Application and Article 11 are promises — and the League should stand on its promises. That is the reason we have filed the Motion To Honor Membership Contracts.

The ARRL is a membership organization, and the opinions of the Members are important.

I have been asked by each of the West Gulf Division Section Managers — NTX SM Steve Smith (KG5VK), STX SM Stuart Wolfe (KF5NIX), WTX SM Dale Durham (W5WI), and OK SM Mark Kleine (N5HZR) — to share that they each support the Motion To Honor Membership Contracts.

If you believe the Motion has merit and it should pass, it would be important for you to share your support for the Motion with the ARRL President, Rick Roderick, and the other Directors. All of their email addresses can be found on Page 15 of QST or at http://www.arrl.org/divisions . If you choose to share your views, please be respectful — we choose to disagree, but need not be disrespectful.

John Robert Stratton
West Gulf Division Director

Lee H. Cooper
West Gulf Division Vice Director